Doug Dexter is a Fellow in the American College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, served for nearly two decades as Chair of Farella's Employment Practice, and has been selected to serve as Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section, effective August 2019.  He specializes in advising and representing large employers, particularly in the technology industry, regarding employment and labor issues. He helps these clients reach decisions of first impression that will stand the test of time and application to substantial employee populations, consistent with the client’s workplace ethos and brand. These decisional contexts range from drafting policies to resolving individual employee circumstances.

In litigation, Doug applies over three decades of experience to reconcile facts, law, and party priorities toward resolution – whether through negotiation, summary judgment, or trial. A life-time early adopter, Doug strives to leverage technology for more efficient and material evidentiary analysis. Through direct but respectful communications, Doug excels in avoiding unnecessary conflict while reaching his client’s desired result.

The subjects of Doug’s experience, advice, and litigation span the unique dictates of California employment law, including wage and hour, accommodation, discrimination, work environment, privacy, collective action, competition, trade secrets, contingent workforces, and agreements to commence, compensate, and sever employment. Doug consistently litigates individual, class and PAGA actions. Raised in San Francisco, educated in San Diego, and initially officed in Los Angeles, Doug has spent his career resolving employment disputes in venues across California. 

As a professional leader, Doug has benefited from mentoring and working with diverse talented teams of attorneys, both within and outside of Farella. Doug recognizes that supporting legal profession diversity, as well as independent thought among newer lawyers, enhances legal analysis and client service — and creates a more competent and admirable profession. 

Doug is regularly tapped to edit the leading employment guides, such as his role as a chapter editor of "Reductions in Force" in the Rutter Group Employment Litigation Practice Guide and the associate editor of Workplace Data: Law and Litigation (BNA).


  • Best Lawyers in America for Litigation - Labor and Employment
  • Benchmark Litigation, Labor & Employment Star – West (2019)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Fellow, American College of Labor & Employment Lawyers (2015-present)
  • Budget Co-Chair, ABA, Labor and Employment Law Section (2017-2019)
  • Governing Council Member, ABA, Labor and Employment Law Section (2011-2017)
  • Co-Chair, ABA, Labor and Employment Law Section, Technology in the Practice and Workplace Committee (2005–2007) 
  • President, Northern California Human Resources Association (2005) 
  • Founding Sponsor, San Francisco High School Mock Trial Competition

Firm Highlights


California Court Finds Shift Call-Ins May Trigger Reporting Time Pay

A California court has held that employees required to call their employers before a shift to determine whether they are assigned to work may be entitled to reporting time pay on days when they...

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California Supreme Court Declines to Apply Federal Excuse for Short Unrecorded Work Periods

By Doug Dexter , Holly Sutton , James Baker, and Brookes Degen In Troester v. Starbucks , a unanimous California Supreme Court held that California labor statutes and wage orders do not incorporate federal de...

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New California Employment Laws Will Require Significant Changes in 2019

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law several bills that will have significant impact on employers’ workplace obligations. Effective January 1, 2019, the new laws will restrict nondisclosure agreements and certain settlement agreements covering...

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California to Implement Broad New National Origin Discrimination Protections

The California Fair Employment and Housing Council has published new regulations that increase protections from national origin discrimination, including expanding the definition of “national origin.” The regulations will take effect July 1, 2018. The regulations...

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California Supreme Court Clarifies Background Check Laws in California

Employers which use background checks in their hiring process without obtaining written authorization may wish to review their practices. The California Supreme Court has rejected an argument that employers could not reconcile the state’s two...

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